Jun 29, 2012

The Duchess, 2008

The Duchess, 2008
Director: Saul Dibb
Cast: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper

Stage: Home theatre, a peaceful evening after a really long day

The Duchess in short: Georgiana Spencer became Duchess of Devonshire on her marriage to the Duke in 1774, at the height of the Georgian period, a period of fashion, decadence, and political change. Spirited and adored by the public at large she quickly found her marriage to be a disappointment, defined by her duty to produce a male heir and the Duke's philandering and callous indifference to her. She befriends Lady Bess but finds she is once again betrayed by her husband who wields his power with the three eventually living uncomfortably together. Against this background, and with the pressures of an unfaithful husband, strict social pressures and constant public scrutiny, Georgiana falls passionately in love with Charles Grey, a rising young Whig politician. However, despite his ongoing liaison with Lady Bess, the Duke refuses to allow her to continue the affair and threatens to take her children from her.

Preps: I don't know anything about the piece, but Keira attracts my attention, therefore I am more than eager to see it. Plus, it's after a true story, am always a sucker for this.

Reality: Well, it's a long way, before you master the technique of putting the right dialogues on the same level as the scenery, energy between actors, direction, photography. In other words, there is a fine line between an average movie and a brilliant one. This one doesn't reach beyond averageIn this perticular piece you see a lot of everything, but it's all looking like dog's dinner, it doesn't really work together as it should. The main cast somehow pull through some brilliant dialogues, plus the story is intriguing, but it doesn't impress me in a way it would keep my mind really focused on the piece.
They lose me right away, then catch my attention, then lose me again. I can't complain about the red line. Lost love, forced marriage, how to deal with it.. it's a good topic and a lot of movies have been made with this same essence. The start of the piece gives me the creeps as I am more than I should probably be, liberal thinker and don't support arranged marriages at all. In my opinion, I am a lucky ducky to be born in time and place, where I have the option to choose, to deny something or to say someone to get out of my sight. Keira in this matter represents time and party, where she couldn't - in some sense, the woman liberation came after these things were torn apart; when women could not only vote, but also decide who they want to spend their lives with. It's a sad story, as she struggles to maintain (or develop) the love of her forced husband and yet, the movie doesn't touch me as hard as it could.
The love she finds, on screen, seems very lame and could have more passion. Could have more heart and spirit. I don't buy it as much as I buy her desperation and imagining the situation of being together with the husband's mistress. Ralph Fiennes as the husband is the block of solid ground that doesn't shake even a bit, when he tells her she's not going to see her children ever again, if she doesn't obey him.

All in all, the movie is an average one, I am not surprised it didn't hit the blockbuster rating. As said, the main cast resolve most of the issues I have with the movie, but they aren't capable of driving it above the average point. I am grateful to be thinking about the movie afterwards, because this to me is an indicator, when a movie hits me deeper as I have imagined. So, not really a waste of time, but I have expected much more.

My personal rating: 5,5 (an average, yet decent thing to watch and think about. Will make you appreciate the hospitality of people's choice when they seek a mate /partner/life companion)

The Duchess on IMDB

Jun 26, 2012

Win A Date With Ted Hamilton, 2004

Win a Date With Ted Hamilton, 2004
Director: Robert Luketič
Cast: Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Topher Grace

Stage: Home TV selection, nice Monday evening

Win a Date in short: Rosalee Futch is a grocery clerk living in rural West Virginia. But even a small-town girl can have big dreams, and Rosalee's is to someday--somehow--meet her big-screen idol Tad Hamilton. The somehow arrives in the form of a contest--the grand prize: a date with Tad Hamilton--and the someday is now. Rosalee wins, much to the chagrin of her best friend and co-worker Pete, who is deeply, hopelessly--and secretly--in love with Rosalee. The Win a Date contest was cooked up by Tad's agent, Richard Levy, and his manager, also named Richard Levy, to clean up Tad's bad-boy image. Someone should have told them to be careful what you wish for. When Tad meets Rosalee and gets a taste of what he's been missing in the real world, he decides he wants seconds and moves to West Virginia, turning Rosalee's dream come true into a nightmare for Richard Levy, Richard Levy and, most of all, Pete.

Preps: I have nothing special to do and am not in a mood for something heavy. Plus, something isn't working as it should with my portable disc. Hence.. tv should make me entertained.

Reality: Hm. I am more than dissappointed. The plot seems interesting. Something like Notting Hill, but in US. NOT. Truly not. What did this director mean by creating something like this, I don't know. Fortunately, I don't recall having this at our theaters, otherwise I would object on this spot putting something like this in public.

To be quite precise - the plot is interesting, but poorly delivered. This means the script wasn't optimized and the screenwriter should probably rethink his work. Next, the characters. Lame delivery of cast, main and supporting actors. Poor energy, lousy dialogues and all the time you feel you are watching something that was designed for kids. Interesting music, but this normally isn't the problem at romantic comedies. Stage, photography, scenes.. average or subaverage. All in all, the movie leaves me cold and I am angry for spending time on this s...

You shouldn't bet on such TV comedies as they will seldom surprise you or leave you burning with anxiety. The story could be a good one, if it was delivered properly. The huge advance of this topic is seen in Notting Hill, taking number one in this genre and this perticular topic. Everyone wants to see how dating a celebrity might seem like, because anyone can relate to this desire every now and then. But to see it in this shape is truly dissappointing.

My personal rating: 1,0 (for the topic, not delivery. Don't waste your time!)

Win a Date on IMDB Link

Jun 14, 2012

The Perfect Man, 2005

The Perfect Man, 2005
Director: Mark Rosman
Cast: Heather Locklear, Hilary Duff, Aria Wallace

Stage: Home TV selection, a nice Wed evening

The perfect man in short: Teenager Holly Hamilton is tired of moving every time her single mom Jean has another personal meltdown involving yet another second-rate guy. To distract her mother from her latest bad choice, Holly conceives the perfect plan for the perfect man.. an imaginary secret admirer who will romance Jean and boost her shaky self-esteem. When the virtual relationship takes off, Holly finds herself having to produce the suitor, borrowing her friend's charming and handsome Uncle Ben as the face behind the e-mails, notes and gifts. Holly must resort to increasingly desperate measures to keep the ruse alive and protect her mom's newfound happiness, almost missing the real perfect man when he does come along.

Preps: Well, Heather is miss evil in Melrose place, apart from that she has lots of experience in TV movies, not real ones. And her performance is quite average to my knowledge. Let's see about this one.

Reality: I am quite right. The performance is awful. Plus, the storyline is somehow cheesy. Sometimes actors or directors should think about the script, before they give it a pass. It's quite impossible for two children to be switching schools on monthly basis all the time, for the administrative reasons if not for something else.
I like the tweak I have with watching this. It's like the gossip girl, (the series), with the elder sister putting everything on blog and making a big deal out of every guy her mother meets. The scheme she has planned is also similar to those in teenager series. Well, I don't think this was supposed to be a serious adult movie, but it's a quite average teenage romance movie. The bondage between a divorced mother and her daughter (or two, like in this scenario), can be a satisfying and demanding topic, if you take the advantage of the theme. However in this case, the director, nor the actors have.
It does serve some cheesy and some quite romantic statements. It might even bring you the idea to your head, to run back home and serve your wife an orchid, tell her she's floating on a cloud. But on the other hand it also servers numerous unrealistic situations and the development of the story is quite unbelievable. I don't buy it. The myth of the Perfect man? Could be, but not in this piece.

My personal rating: 4,0 (some good moments, apart from that, don't waste your time!!)

The Perfect Man on IMDB

Jun 12, 2012

Love and other drugs, 2010

Love and other drugs, 2010
Director: Edward Zwick
Cast: Jake Gylenhaal, Anne Hathaway

Stage: Home theatre, an evening with one of my friends

Love and other drugs in short: Maggie (Hathaway) is an alluring free spirit who won't let anyone - or anything - tie her down. But she meets her match in Jamie (Gyllenhaal), whose relentless and nearly infallible charm serve him well with the ladies and in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. Maggie and Jamie's evolving relationship takes them both by surprise, as they find themselves under the influence of the ultimate drug: love.

Preps: I am scrolling through my disc, this is one of the remaining pieces, therefore, let's go for it.

Reality: The topic is really interesting. This could be a good piece. But what happens? You are forced into an average or subaverage spirit of dialogues that are lame and don't make much sense. As if the words are there to kill the time in the scenes.

Getting your way into pharmacies and pharmaceutical world with existing or new drugs can be either very rewarding or really tough job, we can see both sides of the coins here. However, instead of focusing on one thing, the scriptplayer focused on several, which, when combined together, are not working. Love replaces the lion fight of selling pharmaceutical products and while you should be thinking about the hard world of selling, you are looking at two characters, that really don't have the energy to pull something out of the love scenes. As much as I can, I am trying to focus on the movie, because my mind is slipping. I am bored and don't want to see it until the end.
Because of my friend, I stay alert, but if I was alone, this one would be deleted after max 30 minutes. Really not worth your time. Bad story, even worse said, bad scenes, bad music.. I don't suppose there's anything I like about this piece.

My personal rating: 1,0 (don't waste your time. The only thing worth seeing is the good looks of the main cast. Which is by far not good enough to see the piece).

Love and other drugs on IMDB

Jun 4, 2012

L'arnacoeur, 2010 (Heartbreaker)

L'arnacoeur, 2010 (Heartbreaker)
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Cast: Roman Duris, Vanessa Paradis, Julie Ferrier

Stage: Summer movie /drive in on Gospodarsko Razstavišče, Ljubljana

L'Arnacoeur in short: You could say Alex Lippi is a ladies' man but it is not true. Of course he has already wooed and charmed armies of women, young and less young, French and foreign. But Alex does it only on active service. Indeed he is appointed to break up undesired couplings. This time he must prevent a rich young lady from marrying an English millionaire. The girl is beautiful and the future husband a perfect match. Will he manage to accomplish this difficult mission?

Preps: I have only seen the short review of the movie. Plus, I have won the tickets for this summer drive in option. I am curious of both, the placement (how am I going to hear it), and the storyrun. Should be good.

Reality: Well, first a few words about the drive in experience. It's by far the worst experience of seeing a piece. Not because of the company, because I really enjoyed it, but because nowadays the seats in the cars aren't designed to match expectations from a person that wishes to relax and enjoy a movie. We aren't in a plane and we cannot really move as we want. Plus, the "seating" wasn't turned towards the screen, so you needed to stretch your neck so hard it hurt the day after. And the seats have some things in the middle, so you really cannot move. The turning on the radio and finding the frequency of the movie (the voice), this was something new and exciting. All in all, something I was really looking forward to test, but it failed somehow.

The piece.. a romantic comedy about a company that breaks up relationships, with the main protagonist and James Bond crew that stands behind him. A good story, a good pitch once he starts talking - about the aim of the company he works for and the role of his sister with her husband in this story. However, the movie deals merely with the operational execution of the deal / project that company agrees to deliver. It definitely doesn't go where I believe it should go, to make it more realistic. This is a guy that kisses virtually hundreds of women, under different names, some kind of Tom Cruise in MI or James Bond, changing names, professions, telling lies, .. and living smoothly? Eventually I think it cracks, you cannot go on so long undercover and not suffer emotionally and psychologically. This is where the movie is lacking content. I would be curious to learn more about this.

In some sense, the director tries to put in some of this lacking experience, when he falls for this last girl he is working on. Still, it doesn't show enough, but I remain curious enough to really want to know how will it end. This is a virtue that most of the movies don't have anymore and think should look up to.

For the photography, scenery, costumography, clothing.. brilliant. You can really enjoy this "Bond" global feeling, because the scenes are carefully polished, the costumes are trendy, the technology he uses makes you think he's a bit of McGyver - it's really not real :) But still, because you want, you buy it. I believe some FBI or CIA agents could pull some of this together, but a family in a truck? I don't buy it. So they should work on this to make it more believable.

A good run to fight a boring evening. Will make you think about your decisions, who you are with and who are the men you meet from time to time - are they paid to make temptations to you? Or is this pure coincidence?

My personal rating: 6,0 (a solid romance, good drive through the story and a nice touch to end the message of the story with). But drive-in experience.. definitely overrated.

L'Arnacoeur on IMDB